2 October 2022 – 15 January 2023 

“A painting is good when the execution of the idea rises above the idea itself
and lets the painting just be right.”
Lieven Hendriks

Nails in the wall, a fogged up mirror, or a dusty car with a finger line pulled through it: artist Lieven Hendriks takes the commonplace as his subject matter. He employs his technical virtuosity to expose the viewer to a different take on painting, different to how we normally view painting. And while his images appear at first glance to be crystal clear, they also sow a seed of doubt because of their ambiguity. From 2 October 2022 to 15 January 2023, CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands presents Mirages, a retrospective exhibition covering the past 20 years of Lieven Hendriks’s work.  


The exhibition will be opened on Sunday 2 October in the auditorium of CODA. If you would like to attend the opening, please click the button below and fill out the form.

Optical illusion

Trompe-l’oeil is the art-historical term for the optical illusion or 3D effect artists have employed for centuries to surprise viewers or to deceive them. It is also a prominent and consistent factor in Lieven Hendriks’ work, but it is never an end or goal in itself. He uses it to provoke thought or to confront us with our preconceptions about what we see or think we are seeing. His paintings do not refer to an existing reality, but rather an idea that is encapsulated within reality. In his studio he translates these ideas into new, autonomous paintings. He is always seeking subjects that evoke a certain discord with historical notions of painting. For example, the paintings seem to vacillate between a sense of temporality and eternity, presence and absence, or truth and deception. Hendriks often creates in series to fully explore his new subject matter over several paintings.   

In the exhibition

Mirage, 2021, acrylic on linen

Ursa Major, 2011, acrylic on linen

untitled, 2017, acrylic on linen

HQ, 2019, acrylic on polyester canvas

Hearsay, 2018, acrylic on linen

Recent work

His recent work features mirages. The manipulation and impact of light always play an important role in his work, but in this series it has taken on a stronger position. He wants the painting itself to be a mirage. In comic books a mirage is often used to symbolise a deep longing; the desire to find water in the desert – an extreme manifestation of human imagination that can, at the same time, be explained scientifically. Such abstractions are given concrete form in Hendriks’ recent paintings.


The exhibition in CODA Museum shows the diversity of Lieven Hendriks’ oeuvre, and includes a large number of works on loan from museums and private collections. He also made new work especially for this exhibition. The work by this Gelderland-based artist has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions around the country and abroad, but has not yet been featured in a museum retrospective. There is also a monograph on his oeuvre to accompany the exhibition.

Lieven Hendriks

Lieven Hendriks (1970) grew up near Arnhem, studied at the Utrecht School of the Arts and was a resident of De Ateliers in Amsterdam. His work is found in museum collections at home and abroad, including at Museum Voorlinden, ESMoA Los Angeles and Centraal Museum in Utrecht.